Xiao You walked towards Rainie. “Say that again, please…” she placed both her hands on Rainie’s arm.
“Xi Men once told us that it is a phrase that you read from a book in which you both believed is true, ‘If Adam and Eve didn’t eat the apple’. And you told him that at his favorite spot at the backyard, overlooking Taipei in mansion 82,” said Rainie.
Tears started to roll down Xiao You’s cheek. “Xi Men…”
“Please believe us…” Ken said. “We didn’t lie to you. We come because of Xi Men. We really do. He wanted to see you,” he looked at Mei Zhuo, Lei and Ah Si, and then at Xiao You. “We are not coming for what the so-called reward money because we believe a fulfilling wish worth much more than the reward money, which we plainly had no idea about,”
“Xiao You…” Xiao Qiao said.
Xiao You looked at Rainie, but seemingly her focus is not on Rainie but perhaps on the fond memory of Xi Men. “Can I take a look at the ring…” she said softly.
“Sure,” Rainie immediately took the ring out and handed it to Xiao You.
Xiao You looked at the ring, and lightly twisted the ring, where it became two rings. She paid extra attention at each of the rings. It was all silence, as all of them looked at Xiao You.
“I bought this ring to Xi Men when we are in Canada,” Xiao You smiled lightly. “And silly me, I don’t know this ring is actually 2 rings combined to one,” she lightly twisted back the rings to one. “And we both wear one…” Xiao You said, as more tears rolling down her cheek. “I put mine… with him in his coffin…” she sniffed.
“Xiao You…” Jing said, as she stood next to Xiao You and wipe her tears. “You… believe them now?”
“They are telling the truth…” Xiao You said. “I didn’t want to believe you…” she looked at them. “…but I have to believe when you tell me the phrase that only Xi Men and I know…” she looked at Rainie. “I refused to believe in the first place because I do not want to give myself a crushed hope… but now I… I…” she choked on her own words as more tears streaming down her cheek.
All of them smiled, for they all finally managed to convince her that Xi Men do exists in mansion 82 as a ghost. A sigh of relieve.
Only one sentence does the magic.
“Xi Men…” Xiao You called out. She hugged Jing, who stood next to her, tightly, “I miss him very much…” and her right hand gripping the ring.
“My life changed when Xi Men passed away…” Xiao You said. “Changed drastically,”
“We still remember how things changed…” Ah Si said.
“Xi Men died a week before his wedding. He wanted to see Xiao You walking down the aisle and marry him, but he couldn’t,” Lei said.
“That was Xi Men’s wish for so many years… he wanted to get Xiao You but he would just give reasons that he declined to get her…” Mei Zhuo said.
Xiao You looked up 45 degrees and took a deep breath, seemingly into deep thought and closed her eyes. Perhaps she recalled all the events in the life at that very moment. She opened her eyes and speak, “I was attached to Mike but I wasn’t in love with him, and then he was involved in an accident and died,” she said. “Then came Xi Men… and he died too…” she looked down to the ring. “Guess I am not suitable to be with a man, because whoever is with me… died,”
“Don’t think that way, Miss Yang…” Pace said.
“Call me Xiao You,” Xiao You smiled as she looked up at them. “Since you are Xi Men’s friends, you are our friends too,”
“Yeah, don’t call us by our family name, call us like how Xi Men call us,” San Chai smiled.
“Sure, Xiao You…” Winnie said, a little awkward to address Xiao You that way face to face. “It is not about whoever is with you will…” she looked at Vic. “But it is just unlucky for them to have died young… it was an accident for Mike… and Xi Men… someone just don’t like him so they assassinate him,”
“Yeah, look at these youngsters, they think that way just like us too, so, why burden yourself with such negative thoughts?” Xiao Qiao said, looking at Xiao You.
Xiao You smiled. “I never said he was assassinated… yet you know… I cannot not believe you youngsters with that statement,” she looked at the ring. “Anyway… I have a child with Xi Men, so…” she stopped and looked at them.
“Xi Men know he might have a child, but unsure is son or daughter…” said Barbie abruptly continued after Xiao You stopped.
“Son,” Xiao You smiled. “Xi Men chooses the name when he is still alive,”
“Yes, we saw Jian Xiang earlier. He looks like Xi Men,” Barbie said. “He’s obedient,”
Xiao You smiled. “Yes… he is,”
“How much did your life changed?” Jerry asked.
It was supposed to be the happiest moment in their life, but it turned out to be the saddest. All guests who were invited for Xi Men’s wedding were in fact attending his funeral. The day that Xi Men and Xiao You were supposed to get married became the day that Xi Men is being buried. Everything turned upside down not only for Xiao You but for everyone, as they lost a buddy and a best friend with just a split second, with only a bullet piercing into his heart, terminating his life forever.
“Xiao You…” Lei called out.
Xiao You stared at the grave of Xi Men, not speaking a word. She did not even turn looking at Lei to respond to his calling.
“Xiao You, we are here if you need us,” Ah Si said.
Again, Xiao You did not respond.
“Xiao You…” San Chai said as she walked to Xiao You and hugged her.
Xiao You, still staring at Xi Men’s grave, practically dazed, slowly hugged San Chai back as tears flowed down her cheek. “Xi Men left me… San Chai… he left me… I’m all alone now…”
“We don’t know what we can do… but please do take a good care of yourself… you still have Xi Men’s child,” Mei Zhuo said. “And you have us,”
San Chai slowly released herself from the hug. Xiao You touched her stomach and smiled lightly despite her eyes are still focusing on Xi Men’s tombstone. “Yes, I have his child… and that is the only precious thing he left for me…”
“Allow all of us to be your child’s godfather and godmother,” Jing said, holding her hand.
They all nodded in agreement to Jing’s offer to Xiao You.
Xiao You smile sadly and turned looking at them. “I am thankful for having all of you as my friend… Xi Men’s child will be the happiest child in the world, having all the love of Xi Men’s friends to raise him up…” she then turned looking at Xi Men’s grave. “Sure… thank you…”
They smiled, seeing at least, Xiao You accepted their offer.
“At one point I do not even know what’s more in the world that would make me stay… Xi Men left me behind… after all that we’ve been thru…” Xiao You looked down and touched her stomach. “But Xi Men’s child will make me stay…”
“Be strong, Xiao You…” Xiao Qiao said.
“I will… I will be strong and be tough for Xi Men’s child… he needs my strength… I cannot be like this…” she looked at them. “If this is son, his name will be Jian Xiang. If this is daughter, her name will be Yuen Ling,” she turned looking at Xi Men’s tombstone, at his picture. “These names are your desired names to name our children. I will do that for you,” she touched her stomach. “I have put our rings together with you in your coffin, as a sign for you to remember that I will always love you, and our rings are safe with you… we are always… a pair…” she said. “…together,”
The following pregnancy months are unbearable for Xiao You. Xiao You encountered emotional roller coaster during her pregnancy months. Fortunately, her friends – Lei, Jing, Xiao Qiao, Mei Zhuo, Ah Si and San Chai were by her side upon a call to make sure she goes thru the challenging months. At the same time, San Chai, Xiao Qiao and Jing were pregnant so all of them will discuss with each other about pregnancy and ensures that Xiao You is not alone.
Xiao You suffered depression during the first 2 years Xi Men passed away. She would cry alone in her room and sometimes would consume sleeping pills at night to get her to sleep.
“I already suffered depressions before Jian Xiang is born but I suffered even more, tremendous of depressions after Jian Xiang was born, so I relied on sleeping pills at night. But I ensure that I am alright and fit to work in the day. I would be alright to my son. He doesn’t know I am in depression. But I wasn’t aware that what I am doing is actually wrong because I only want to feel better…” Xiao You said. “I would call any of them at any time of the day and cry, and they would come over to my house…” she smiled, “Thanks, guys,” she looked at them.
“You’re welcome, Xiao You,” they responded.
“And so it comes to one day I read an article about a woman who resolved to the same way that I did, that is crying at night and taking sleeping pills… and then I only realized what I did was wrong… so… I didn’t want to do that again, for the sake of Jian Xiang…” Xiao You smiled. “He had lost his father, and I didn’t want him to lose a mother too…”
“We didn’t know she is taking anti-depressant and sleeping pills, until she confessed to it a few months later after she stopped,” Xiao Qiao said. “We were so shocked back then so we take extra care on her upon knowing it, worrying she could go back to the pills or back into depressions, and thank goodness she really stopped taking those pills,”
“Yes, that scared the hell out of me!” San Chai said at Xiao You.
All of them smiled. Xiao You smiled at San Chai.
“Sorry,” Xiao You uttered to San Chai, and then she looked at the youngsters, “That was the most difficult time in my life, being pregnant and seeing other people having their husband to support them when I don’t have, no man for me to rely or depend on at my most difficult time… and then to raise my son alone… in which I don’t like burdening my friends at all times,” and then she suddenly smiled. “I still remember when I have to go for check up… I went to the doctor with a companion, and funnily each time with a man… a different man,” she looked at Ah Si, Lei and Mei Zhuo.
Ah Si, Lei and Mei Zhuo laughed suddenly.
“Yeah… because San Chai, Jing and Xiao Qiao were pregnant at that time, they cannot accompany Xiao You for check up… so, I went with her the first time. I fetched her to the doctor,” Ah Si said. “San Chai is also seeing the same doctor, so, when the doctor saw me… he thought Xiao You is my second wife or my mistress,” he laughed. “Xiao You and I took a whole great of effort to explain to the doctor that we are friends, and that I am the godfather of the child,”
“And I went with Xiao You the second time,” Mei Zhuo laughed. “The doctor looked at me with a weird look, and I told him I am the godfather of the child, and not the father,”
“Nevertheless, the doctor finds it hard to believe it because normally all the patients went to see the doctor with their husband or mother, and never the godfather of the child,” Xiao You smiled. “It’s very nice of them to go with me… and being my driver too,”
“It’s ok,” Lei said. “And I went with her the third time, and that’s when we know Xi Men’s child is a son. For goodness sake the doctor is treating me like the father and he refused to believe I am the godfather too,”
“And up to that point the doctor asked me why am I having so many ‘godfathers for my child’,” Xiao You smiled.
“And I am annoyed with that!” Lei suddenly snarled and the room filled with laughter. “I asked the doctor back… ‘are you jealous for the child having loves from TREMENDOUS of godparents?’ and he straight went silent,”
“Yes, I remember that,” Xiao You let out a small laugh.
All of them laughed and then grew into smiles.
“I named my son Xi Men Zhong Jian Xiang… for Xi Men is the family name, and Zhong is Xi Men’s name, and his name will be Jian Xiang… I make sure that Jian Xiang could have a name of his father’s,” Xiao You smiled.
“Xiao You, you are tough… very tough,” Rainie said.
“Yes, she is,” Mei Zhuo smiled as he looked at Xiao You, whom is looking at him as he interrupts the conversation to which Xiao You wanted to reply by herself. “She changed and became extremely tough over the months and now, years…”
“Situations forced me to change,” Xiao You smiled at Mei Zhuo and then she turned looking at the youngsters. “Thinking back… I don’t really know how I managed to go through the moments. It was difficult… very difficult,”
“That is why you have to adapt to it for the sake of Jian Xiang, and to continue living. And that is why you changed to a tougher Xiao You than we have always knew,” Lei smiled.
“Nevertheless, we were always there for her,” Xiao Qiao smiled.
“What are friends for?” Mei Zhuo smiled, looking at Xiao Qiao.
“Thank you so much. Where else would I be able to find friends like this…?” Xiao You smiled at them. “It wasn’t easy… but I’ve made it… and so far life’s okay to me… and Jian Xiang cheers me up at all times,”
“The gift from Xi Men,” Ah Si smiled.
“Wait… early in the conversation… did you just say Jing got pregnant at that time too?” Jerry asked Ah Si.
Jing and Lei looked at each other.
“Yes, Jing is pregnant that time. Why?” Lei asked, and Ah Si abruptly nodded.
“So, you finally got pregnant that same time after all the jokes by Xi Men, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si to buck up?” Jerry asked.
“Jerry!” the youngsters yelled.
Jing and Lei’s face immediately turned red.
“What?” Jerry asked.
“Jerry! How could you ask that!” Barbie said. “And furthermore… ‘buck up’?!”
“OH NO! I’m so sorry!!!” Jerry panicked, looking at them.
Xiao You, Ah Si, San Chai, Mei Zhuo and Xiao Qiao laughed at Jerry’s statement.
“Oh Jerry… you are such an embarrassment…” Ken scratched his forehead, partially covering his face. The others are thinking how to ‘hide their face’.
“Oh no…” Vic said, looking away to left and right with no definite place to land his eyes on, as long as he can avoid the embarrassment Jerry had made.
“I don’t intend to do that!” Jerry said at Ken and Vic, and then he turned at Lei and Jing. “I’m sorry… so sorry… it’s just that Xi Men mentioned about it to us… and I…” Jerry stammered.
Lei and Jing’s embarrass faces turned to giggles, and slowly changed to a smile.
“And so you know about the jokes too…” Xiao Qiao smiled.
“Actually I am already pregnant then, but Lei and I had yet to know because there’s no symptom yet until the following month,” Jing smiled. “And honey…” Jing turned looking at Lei. “That one sentence from them had totally convinced me that these youngsters met Xi Men,”
“I’m more convinced than what I had been convinced,” Lei smiled.
All of the youngsters turned looking at Jerry. Jerry turned to look at them one by one.
“Ok, I’ll let you go of that,” Vanness said at Jerry. “Now that you gained their trust,”
Jerry bares a fake and forceful smile.
Mei Zhuo said, “I still remember Xi Men said that joke with me at Lei… hours before Xi Men was shot to death,” he smiled lightly. “I guess that was his last joke, and our last joke together as F4…”
Xiao You sat at the couch in her mansion. Xi Men’s mother walked to Xiao You.
“Xiao You…” she called.
Xiao You slowly looked up at her. “Aunt…”
Xi Men’s mother smiled lightly. “I have treated you as my daughter-in-law, you can call me mom,” she caressed her face. “I know you’re tired as you just came back from Xi Men’s funeral earlier… why don’t you take a rest?”
“I can’t… I can’t sleep…” Xiao You said.
“Life must go on…” Xi Men’s mother said, putting the strands of hair of Xiao You to the back of her ear. “You are supposed to be married today… but in fact… became Xi Men’s funeral… I cannot believe it too…”
Tears rolled down Xiao You’s cheek. “I don’t know what to do anymore…”
“You have Xi Men’s child. That’s what you should do next,” Xi Men’s mother said, wiping her tears. “Please keep this child… even if you do not want it… please born the child for Xi Men… I’ll take care of the child…”
Xiao You looked up, looking at her. “Mom… you…”
“Don’t abort the child, alright?” she held Xiao You’s hand.
“Mom… I will keep the child… I really will…” Xiao You said as she hugged her.
“If you want to marry someone else after you have born the child… you can do so… for my son is dead…”
“Mom, don’t say like that… I don’t want to marry anyone… and not even want to consider about this matter at the closest time. I will keep the child and I will take care of the child… I promise,” Xiao You said, releasing herself from the hug. She looked around the house. “The house is so empty now…” she turned and looked at the staircase, reminiscing Xi Men’s death.
“You can’t keep on like this, Xiao You… this place is where Xi Men died… if you keep on staying here… you will keep remembering how he died and you cannot lead your life…”
“I know, mom…”
“Move in and stay with me,”
Xiao You looked at her. “Move?”
“Since this place will remind you of my son, then move in with me, stay with me at the mansion where Xi Men and I used to stay…” Xi Men’s mom said. “Although Xi Men stayed there before, at least… at least you won’t remember the way he died…”
“Yes, it will be like a playback to me to picture how Xi Men died…”
“Move in and stay with me, alright?” she asked. “I can take care of you and the child… until you decide what you want to do next…”
“Ask them to move in together,” she smiled. “We are one family,”
“I…” Xiao You looked at the staircase, picturing Xi Men is shot, rolling down the staircase, and died in her arms.
“I understand, Xiao You. He is my son too… if I am to stay here or come here, I will remember this is the place my son dies…” Xi Men’s mother said. “If you keep on staying here… it will be very difficult to move on… think for your child,” she stopped. “… and it’s Xi Men’s child too,” she caressed Xiao You’s cheek. “Will you consider that?” she looked at the teary-eyed Xiao You, “We can take care of the child together when you move in with me,”
Xiao You closed her eyes as more tears rolled down her cheek. “Alright… I’ll move in and stay with you… thank you, mom,”
Xi Men’s mother smiled as she hugged Xiao You tight. “My daughter-in-law…”
“My parents moved in into this house at the same day I move in because they are worried about me,” Xiao You said, looking around the house. “And I stayed here until today,” she then looked at them. “I move in to this house a week after Xi Men’s funeral. And 3 days after that, I have a visitor in the office…”